Our Blog


June 6, 2016

New CBF-Funded PILI Interns Begin Their Service

We’re excited to kick off the summer with a new crop of CBF-sponsored PILI summer interns!

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) is a Chicago-based organization which works with the legal community to cultivate a lifelong commitment to public interest law. The CBF’s grant supporting PILI’s Law Student Internship Program funds three summer interns and two school-year interns to work at CBF-funded pro bono and legal aid organizations in the Chicago area. Our summer interns will work 400 hours full-time, under the supervision of licensed attorneys, to provide legal assistance to people in need, and may also may engage in advocacy, policy-based work or impact litigation on behalf of low-income people.

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June 3, 2016

JEP Network Grows with Six New Participants

The Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) welcomed a new group of innovation-minded lawyers earlier this month. They are the seventh class of lawyers added to the JEP network, which has about 60 lawyers currently participating in or having completed the program. These lawyers are committed to developing innovative practices providing quality legal services that are affordable and accessible to low and moderate income people.

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June 1, 2016

Investing in Justice Campaign Breaks Records in Milestone Year

The 2016 CBF Investing in Justice Campaign marked its 10th anniversary by setting new records across the board while raising awareness and critical funding for pro bono and legal aid services in the Chicago area. A new record of 154 law firms, corporate legal departments and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign, which was chaired by Susan Levy, executive vice president and general counsel at Northern Trust. More than 5,000 individual attorneys and legal professionals contributed more than $1.5 million, both of which are the highest amounts in the Campaign’s 10-year history.

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May 19, 2016

25 Years a Lawyer

A few weeks ago the congratulations emails started to arrive in my inbox because this month marks my 25th anniversary as a lawyer. The emails weren’t coming from anyone I know, but from people trying to sell me mementos of the occasion.

While I have been very fortunate in my legal career and remain proud to be a lawyer today, I won’t be buying any of that stuff. As anniversaries often are though, it was a time to take stock of what has happened over the time since I took the plunge, and it specifically got me thinking about the trajectory of access to justice since those heady days when I got sworn in. So I thought I’d take a brief break from pontificating about the future of our cause to look back at where we’ve been and what we can learn from that going forward.

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May 18, 2016

Sharing Ideas, Strengthening Ties

A diverse group of more than 1,000 leaders and advocates from throughout the country and beyond came together in Chicago last week to exchange ideas, challenges and best practices for access to justice at the annual Equal Justice Conference. Co-sponsored by the American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the conference was held in Chicago this year for the first time, giving an opportunity to showcase some of the great work happening here around these issues. The CBF helped to lead the local host committee co-chaired by John Levi and Lee Miller which presented local programming, hosted a gathering for conference attendees at Goose Island Brewery, and made it possible for more than 35 local legal aid advocates to attend without cost to their organizations.

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May 17, 2016

A Lawyer and a Priest’s Vision for Justice

After graduating from DePaul’s law school together in the early 1980’s, Ed Grossman and Bishop Thomas Paprocki (then a full-time parish priest) embarked on a mission to provide accessible and affordable legal services to the South Chicago community, which was suffering amidst the decline of the steel industry that had been the community’s economic anchor for decades.

The classmates adopted a sliding scale model for their organization so that they could provide services both for people who could afford to pay something and for those who couldn’t afford to pay anything.

At the time, Ed was a 24-year-old fresh-faced attorney and aspired to serve 300 people a year. Flash forward 35 years, and the organization, now known as the Chicago Legal Clinic (CLC), has some years served upwards of 40,000 people a year across dozens of Chicago communities.

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May 16, 2016

Support the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act

As we all know, some of us all too well, the amount of student loan debt in the United States is at an all-time high. At the CBF, we are exploring ways to work with members of Congress to address the student loan crisis and save the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

TAKE ACTION! In the meantime, we ask you to contact your elected officials in support of H.R. 3861, the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act, which would create a tax break for employers who assist their employees with student loan repayment (similar to the way health insurance works now).

Find Your Legislator

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May 13, 2016

Family Law Pro Bono with Incarcerated Mothers

Are you interested in helping families maintain stability and positive parent-child connections during a time of crisis? Want to learn more about family law?

Join the CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers) Program of Cabrini Green Legal Aid for their upcoming training on Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at CGLA (740 N. Milwaukee Ave.). This training will focus on how to access Cook County Jail, short term guardianship, court ordered guardianship, divorce, custody, visitation, and general DCFS issues.

After the training, volunteer shifts can be completed any day of the week, 365 days a year, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and do not require advance scheduling.

Register for the training through ILAO or email Alexis Mansfield with any questions.

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May 10, 2016

CBF Fights for Equal Justice at ABA Day

Last month, attorneys and staff members representing the CBA and CBF, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association again traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in ABA Day, the ABA’s annual advocacy event in Washington. Each year, Congress considers legislation that impacts access to justice, the justice system, and the legal profession. That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and elsewhere in Illinois, participate in ABA Day each year to educate Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents. Proudly representing the CBF were CBF President Allegra Nethery, Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs Greg Boyle and Dawn Willis, Advocacy Committee member Emily Roschek, Executive Director Bob Glaves, and Program Manager Angela Inzano.

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May 9, 2016

3rd Annual Passport to Chicago a Success

On Friday, May 6, more than 200 guests attended the CBF’s 3rd Annual Passport to Chicago at Kendall College and enjoyed dishes representing different Chicago neighborhoods that were conceived and prepared by members of the Kendall College Competition Club. The creations were paired with a selection of local beers and regional wines, with special tastings provided by Chicago’s Midwest Wine Selections and Koval Distillery.

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